Barbara Hand Clow is an astrologer and, with Gerry Clow, founder of Bear & Company, a publishing company that merged with Inner Traditions (founded by one Ehud Sperling) in 2000 to form, unsurprisingly, Inner Traditions – Bear & Company. ITB&C publishes primarily New Age religious fundamentalism, pseudoscience (including astrology), stuff on sacred sexuality and various forms of quackery, and they are responsible for giving us books by e.g. José Argüelles, Ervin Laszlo, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Otto Rahn, Margaret Starbird and Zecharia Sitchin. Hand Clow herself is the kind of person who says things like this:
“We are integrating the evolutionary critical leap of our species triggered by the completion of the Mayan Calendar-2011/2012-as we awaken in the Universe. We feel great excitement as our bodies quicken and our hearts open because we are being flooded with advanced spiritual knowledge. Our solar system is moving into the Photon Band, a realm of pure Pleiadian light. Many of you may feel over-energized, ungrounded, and disoriented now because this cosmic convergence has never happened before. We are in the midst of an evolutionary critical leap that inspires us to heal our bodies, transmute our emotional blocks, clarify our minds, and commune with our souls.”
(That’s the welcoming message from her website Journeys Through Nine Dimensions), which has apparently not been updated in a while). Apparently the years just behind us are very exciting, since “[d]uring 2012-2015, Uranus will square Pluto seven times, and these tense squares will reignite the issues that came up during the chaotic 1960s,” and Hand Clow has issued several books, cds and dvds to help us cope, such as “Alchemy of Nine Dimensions: The Nine Dimensions of Consciousness and the 2011/2012 Prophecies” (coauthored with her partner Gerry).
You know what prophecies she is talking about, don’t you? Oh, yes, you do: It’s the Mayan Calendar, which Hand Clow covered in some detail in works like “The Mayan Code” (2007), “Awakening the Planetary Mind: Beyond the Trauma of the Past to a New Era of Creativity” (2012) and “Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets” (1987) (you gotta love that title). We conjecture that the Clows were not particularly disappointed by the lackluster performances of their predictions, however – this is religion, not science, and it is accompanied by a remarkable ability to fail to recognize that the hypotheses put forth have actually been falsified (compare young earth creationism). In addition to astrology, Hand Clow writes about past lives, healing, new-paradigm (i.e. pseudo-)archeology, and evolution (no, not evolution).
Diagnosis: Coping with reality is just so damn hard, and we all sometimes recognize the temptation to take solace in elaborate fantasy worlds. The New Age fluff promoted by the Clows is really not that different from extreme religious fundamentalism (complete with prophecies and science denial), just replacing fire and brimstone with pastel rainbows and candy floss.